Sunday, May 25, 2014

Reading trends

Who is reading what and when?

Over the past weeks I have been the reading the Commonsense media report "Children, teens and reading" and it got me to thinking about our own clientele who are a little bit different to those used in the original research reports that comprise the summary. The summaries in the report were from an American perspective and I was interested to see how the students in our asian international school compared with regard to their reading habits and trends.

Although I did not have access to the original questions of the original surveys, I devised some questions based on the information we wanted to know such as how much time would our community dedicate to reading for pleasure, what types of things they read, where they got their reading material from, how many were reading eBooks, and who or what influenced them in their reading choices.

The google form was created with the following 12 questions and shared with our secondary students.

The survey link with a brief explanation was placed on the daily student bulletin, with an email to staff to encourage their advisory group to complete the short survey. The link to the survey was also placed on the library facebook page, inviting all of the school community to participate. This will continue for the next 5 days to garner as many responses as possible.

The survey has been live now for 4 days and we have over 150 responses (there are 1050 students in our secondary school). Already there are trends becoming apparent through all the age groups. The survey will close this Friday, so we will be able to really see what is happening with regards to reading at our school and maybe we can see where the strengths and barriers are and work toward building an even more robust reading community.

Is this action research? I checked against some literature on the subject and I have nearly completed Steps 1-4, Steps 5-7 will be acted on in the next few weeks. 

Guiding School Improvement with Action Research

Step 1—Selecting a Focus

What element(s) of our practice or what aspect of student learning do we wish to investigate?
The reading trends and practices of our school community.

Step 2—Clarifying Theories

Generate a set of personally meaningful research questions to guide the inquiry.
Does the RCHK community reflect similar trends in reading as those reported in the commonsense media report?
Are there profound differences (allowing for different questions being used?)

Step 4—Collecting Data

What tools will I use to collect data, will they be effective in collecting the data I want?
Using the survey is one form of data collection from a wide variety of people - is it reliable and valid? What other ways could I collect data on this subject?

Step 5—Analyzing Data

What is the story told by these data?
Why did the story play itself out this way?

Step 6—Reporting Results

How will we report the results of the research?

Step 7—Taking Informed Action

So what? What are we going to do about the information we collect from the data?

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